Looking back at `08

January 1, 2009

Like many, I stayed up to ring in the New Year’s with family. My youngest son even managed to stay awake long enough to watch the telecast of the ball drop in NYC.

2008 was, well..
I began the ThrifteHayseed blog after my job was downsized in March. I love to write, so I thought that blogging would come easily. I soon learned that serious professional-grade blogging is not easy at all. Balancing my household, children, and marriage made posting to the blog another task to procrastinate. One month after being downsized, I began another full time job. Writing to my blog got shelfed most of the time.

My new work schedule was difficult to adjust to. As I began to adjust to the new work hours and new job responsibilities, life happened. I began to have some health issues.

By August, my health issue had gotten to the point that my doctor began to talk to me about seeing a specialist, and also having a CAT scan.

Just days before Labor Day, I underwent surgery. I took a non FMLA leave, but only missed one week of work.

What I hadn’t counted on was that my immune system had taken a traumatic blow. I began to catch every stomach virus going around. No amount of vitamin C helped. I missed work for the simple reason that I had never been that sick and weak before. Ever.

One weak before Thanksgiving, my new workplace decided to drastically reduce its workforce. In all, 80 individuals lost their jobs that day. I felt like I probably deserved to be perm. laid off – the others, not so much.

The year ended with me having no new job prospects. The economy ended down, and my rural area has been effected by it strongly.

What now, `09?
I stopped making true resolutions 2 years ago. I never seemed to keep them anyways.

Instead, I have been making a list of things that I would like to do better at.

Here’s this year’s list:
(1) Keep myself healthier.
(2) Maintain a prioritized spending budget, and cut as many unnecessary costs as possible.
(3) Study GOD’s Word on a daily basis. Study it, know it, and then put it into action in my life.
(4) Make more happy memories; Eliminate new regrets.

Happy 2009.

Vision: 1 year & 5 years

August 18, 2008

(Note: Instead of writing on what works for me and what has worked for others in the aspect of personal finance, I am writing today on what my current situation is and what “vision” I have for my family’s financial future. Enjoy, for what it is worth.)

NOW

  • $21, 000 in debt, exlcuding our home and cars.
  • 4 years payments left on vehicles
  • Paying on our $100K home, which is completely interest free.

In One year, I have the vision that we…

  • Will have paid $10K on our general debts, through budgeting and selling what we do not need.
  • Continuing to pay off the vehicles… (sigh) and home.
  • Living on a tighter budget, and possibly taking on side jobs to throw at our debt.

In 5 years, I have the vision that we ….

  • will be out of debt other than our home!
  • have a small amount of “rainy-day/murphey is coming” fund started
  • will be financially sound enough that giving to “Faithful following of JESUS” will not be an issue.

I will make you a promise: If you marry, you will at some point in time disagree with your significant other concerning money issues.

When My husband & I first married 10 years ago, I had the naive notion that money would not play as big of a part in our relationship as it actually ended up. 90% of the disagreements we have ever had have some root stuck in the troff of economy. I am very fortunate in that my precious husband has endured those disagreements. Alas, the foundation for this entry.

Prenuptial Understanding

Being a simple country girl, I am not one for prenuptial agreements. I do advise to those Brides & Grooms to be that before the Minister says, “Dearly Beloved,” that the two of you sit down and have several talks concerning finance goals. Be open with one another about money mistakes that you have made and make a written plan to prevent those same mistakes from infiltrating the joys of married life. Also, I would advise that the money talks go further and deeper than just money goals. Take the time to discuss your money heritage (how your parents handled money as well as how they taught you to handle money). It will play a part to some degree in how you handle money yourself. Talk openly, unhurriedly about money before you are 2 months into the marriage with $1600 worth of bills that you don’t know how to pay.

Budget from the Beginning; If your past that, START budgeting TODAY!

If you are able to begin your marriage with a mutual budget in mind, you will certainly obtain your financial goals more peacefully. Budgeting in the early months of wedded bliss may help pay for that second honeymoon in 20 years. However, if you are like me and did not begin your marriage with a mutual budget in mind there is hope. Married folks, sit down and start that budget today. Don’t procrastinate another day. Work together and realistically to make a budget that works for you as a couple. Every couple’s need and budget style will be as different as you and your spouse probably are.

One sided boats sink. Either way.

Perhaps you are reading this and saying, “Hay, I agree with you. I love budgets, BUT my spouse is throws money away like gravels…” Hear me now, a one sided boat sinks. What does that mean? If you are the budget/ frugal minded one in your marriage, your efforts alone are not enough to save the both of you. That is why a MUTUAL budget, with MUTUAL financial goals are essential – or else you’ll be bailing water out of the boat while the money-happy honey drills holes in the boat. The person you said “I do” to is your partner – in life and in finances. Together, you will make a doubly dynamic duo than you would alone.

Yes, it is worth being in agreement about

Do a couple of web searches and you will find many articles that show the link between finances and divorce. Throwing out the big D, other reasons that MUTUAL money goals are essential may be:

  • reaching financial goals more wuickly
  • less conflict on money-related decisions
  • better intimate relations with your spouse (and I ain’t just talking THAT kind of intimacy either)
  • clear plan = less confusion for all
  • teaching children and other family that money itself is not a terrible thing

It is worth the talk & the time. Although I have only been married to my darlin’ almost 10 years, I will say from my experiences so far that finances have been a big part of our hayride and probably will be. Only thing is that now we know where we’re going and how to get there.

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